Here is the evolution of a sardine. We started with the most pristine sardines I have had the pleasure of working with. We cleaned the fish and then marinated them in a bath of citrus vinegar, Madeira, salt and agave nectar. Once the sardines were cured, we dried the fillets and glued them together, courtesy of Activa.
Once the sardine fillets were joined we had an excellent starting point for the dish. The marinating of the sardines acted to both season the fish and break down the minuscule bones which run through the flesh. The other elements which we added to balance and accent the sardine's rich flesh are our green almonds, yuzu-juniper mayonnaise and a sheet of Asian pear apple. We were able to concentrate the the flavor and texture of the paper thin fruit through the application of vacuum compression. The juniper in the mayonnaise acts to punch up the inherent pine-y notes of the yuzu. The green almonds incorporate both a clean herbal element and a nutty crunch to the finished composition.
As we wove together the components of this dish we began to give more consideration to the importance of timing and execution in the assemblage of ingredients. While a spontaneous inspiration is rich in creative juices, its very impulsive nature means that it often falls short in the execution of technical skill and finessed preparation. This awareness has forced us both to slow down the final steps in the creation of a dish, while continuing to search for and develop the ideas and elements necessary to execute our end results.